Saturday, January 12, 2008

Meet the girls.

After a rocky start with goats (I started buying from the auction - big no-no), I've hit my stride and feel really good about where I'm sitting now.

Last year I saw some beautiful milking goats go through the auction and almost bought them. I was watching the crowd and saw the woman who was obviously the seller so I went over and introduced myself. She's a lovely lady named Juanita and she has some wonderful stock.

These goats are La Manchas. They're unusual looking goats because they appear to have no ears. They are fantastic milking goats, producing lots of great tasting milk. I left the babies on the mommas and still got more milk than I could use last year. Juanita breeds for production AND taste, so we have some yummy goat milk with none of that 'goaty' taste at all.

She told me that it was a good thing that I hadn't purchased the goats she put through the auction as she only sells goats with issues in the auction. Her quality stock is private sale. So we bought a doe named Jasmine from her that spring and our friends bought a doe named Popcorn from her.

Popcorn ended up being too much of a handful for our friends, so we bought her from them and she calmed right down, we're not sure why. I couldn't have asked for two better goats to learn to hand-milk from. They didn't put up with tugging, but they'd stand pretty when you treated their teats right. Jasmine ended up getting poisoned in our pasture from some pine needles - it happened so fast - and it was only quick vet work that saved Popcorn (now renamed Tamari). I don't know what I would have done if I'd lost her... I'm kind of attached. (I adore her.)

Since I liked the previous goats I'd purchased from Juanita, I went back to her for a buck and possibly more does. Possibly. Maybe. I have a baby due in a few weeks and I didn't want to overwhelm myself. So we were probably not coming back with does, just a buck.

I bought three does. Three first fresheners. As in never been milked before, as in momma with brand new baby has to teach these girls to milk. That's how pretty her goats are. I couldn't resist. I did try to excuse myself on one - Ariel (previously Ears) is one that I very much wanted and Hannah really wanted. Matt wanted her to have her own goat, so I really only bought two, right? Even though I'll be milking all three... These pictures don't do them justice - not many animals are their prettiest in a snowy pen with shaggy coats. So here they are.

Tamari (Popcorn) (Due May 2)

Ariel (Due February 4)

Physion (Due April 15)

Celtic Satin (Due April Fool's Day)

Young buck. This poor little guy needs a name. I don't think calling him "Big Stinky" or what Matt calls him is sending out good energy. Any ideas?

And a picture of my Jasmine. I wish she were here this year. She was so gentle.


Farmgirl_dk: said...

What a lovely goat family you've got. Tell me about pine needle poisoning...I had no idea this could happen. The property we are moving to is very treed, mostly with Douglas Firs and some deciduous varieties that I haven't identified yet. Do you know of issues with Doug Fir needles?

Christy said...

They are lovely. My son wants goats but I'm leaning toward sheep myself.

Bryce and Candice Blood Family said...

So, this is more info on the goat cheese blog because I just read your to do list. Andrea, (the lady Bryce met), boiled the goat milk to 180 degrees, added a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, drained it to seperate the curd from the whey, then put it in a cheese press or you could hang it in cheese cloth. The vet we will be working for and where we will be living when we first move to Phoenix has a milk cow. Bryce milked it while we were there last Spring and he wants to try making cheese. He and the girl love the whole milk...I don't like milk at all...unless you add lots of chocolate. I cleaned out way to many filters in our dairy barn as a gave me a complex! Good luck with your new baby and the goat babies too!

Pichinde said...

Thank you, Candice!